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Zephaniah 1:4-18

Talks for Growing Christians

A Prophecy of Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem

Zephaniah 1:4-18

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Lesson Number 2

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There is a historical aspect to the day of the Lord.
  2. There is an eschatological aspect to the day of the Lord.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t be brainwashed with the idea that God is indifferent.

Questions

  1. Zephaniah’s prophecy of judgment in Zephaniah 1:1-3 was worldwide in scope. What is the scope of his prophecy in Zephaniah 1:4-18?
  2. Have these prophecies been fulfilled, or do they wait to be fulfilled in the future?
  3. How did the Babylonian invasion fit into Zephaniah’s prophecies?
  4. What is meant by “the day of the Lord”? When is the day of the Lord?
  5. Why is the concept of the day of the Lord confusing to some Christians?
  6. How close are we to the End Times?
  7. Define “Eschatology”.

Answers

  1. Zephaniah moves closer to home in this prophecy and pronounces God’s judgment on Judah and Jerusalem.
  2. Yes – to both parts of the question. Some of this prophecy against Judah and Jerusalem was already fulfilled in history. However, all that we read in this prophecy of judgment has not yet been fulfilled. There is an end-time aspect to this prophecy of judgment.
  3. Thirty to fifty years after Zephaniah’s prophecy, the Babylonian armies swept in from the north and conquered Judah and Jerusalem. The temple of the Lord was destroyed at that time and the people were taken into captivity.
  4. The day of the Lord is any time that the Lord intervenes in the affairs of nations for judgment or for blessing. The Lord has already intervened and He will intervene in the future.
  5. Because of the two aspects of the day of the Lord – the historical aspect and the future aspect. Any partial fulfillment or historical fulfillment of the day of the Lord prophecies illustrates or foreshadows the future fulfillment.
  6. We can’t say for sure. However, certainly recent events indicate that we are getting closer to the coming Tribulation.
  7. Eschatology is the study of End Time events.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Refer to Zephaniah 1:4-18 – “the day of the Lord is at hand…the day of the Lord is near and hastens quickly.” The day of the Lord was near for Jerusalem and Judah at that time because the Babylonian armies were right there on the horizon and were about to conquer Israel. God judged and punished Jerusalem and Judah because they had absorbed the pagan culture around them. Are we guilty of this sin? How much of the pagan culture have we absorbed?
  2. God judged the sin of idolatry. When God allowed the Babylonians to conquer Judah and Jerusalem, the sin of idolatry was judged and removed. When the Jews went into captivity in Babylon there was no more idol worship. An idol is anything that takes the place of God as #1 in your life. What are some of your idols? What will it take to purge the worship of idols in our country today?

Challenge

  1. Don’t be brainwashed with the idea that God is indifferent. In Zephaniah 1:12, we read that the people had settled into complacency, thinking that God was indifferent to all that was going on. Does this sound familiar? Don’t

Key Verses

  • “ I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place… ” - Zephaniah 1:4
  • “ Be silent in the presence of the Lord God; for the day of the Lord is at hand. ” - Zephaniah 1:7
  • “ I will punish those who are settled in complacency… ” - Zephaniah 1:12
  • “ The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly…a day of wrath… ” - Zephaniah 1:14-15

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